I was at the dentist’s office awaiting my final fitting for my permanent dentures. I could’ve gotten them back in November but I was quite depressed then due to the upcoming holidays, swallowed up by my grief and having a hard time doing the stuff that I needed to do.
Anyway, there was a woman who came in and she smiled brightly at the entire waiting room, wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
We all mumbled it back to her, including me. I was annoyed that I’d been waiting for an entire 30 minutes already and distracted by my phone.
She started talking to a man that was sitting next to her and I couldn’t help but notice her voice choking up as she told him that her mother had passed away on January 2nd.
“I can’t believe she’s gone. I just lay in bed at night, crying. Even though we argued often, she was the only person who was always there for me.”
It only took me a second or two before I stood up and walked over to her.
“I lost my mother last May.”
“Yes. May I give you a hug?”
She got up and practically threw herself into my arms. And there we were, two strangers, hugging in a waiting room. It lasted about a minute, while I gently rocked her back and forth as she sobbed.
I said a bunch of soothing things to her but mostly what I remember saying is that I wish I could tell her that it would get easier but I couldn’t.
“But she’s always with you. Trust me, she is.”
I put my hand on my heart to show her where.
She nodded, her tear-stained face beaming at me with gratitude and a beautiful, sad smile.
“Thank you. Thank you so much.”
And I felt GOOD. I felt like I was honoring my true calling in life, comforting bereft people and showing empathy to those souls that are struggling.
Because life is hard.
She was gone by the time I was finished with my appointment. We never exchanged names and I’m doubtful that I’ll ever see her again.
But knowing that I made some sort of a difference in this woman’s life will stay with me forever.
I had to change the second part of this post for personal reasons (I just got blasted from the “lost friend” for only caring about myself and being a selfish, self-absorbed bitch) so don’t pay attention to the first few comments down there. Since I’m trying to reduce the amount of stress in my life these days, it’s just easier for me to delete it.
So now it’s just a post about a really good experience that I had with a stranger in my dentist’s waiting room.
I really think that I need to be more careful about who I allow into my life from now on.